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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 2, 2012

White Christmas Cherry-Pistachio Florentines: Third Place

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Submitted by Jessie Grearson

These look elegant and complex but are very simple – if you use parchment paper and are patient enough to let them cool. The drizzled white chocolate shows off the finely chopped green pistachios and red cherries, and the honey-butter taste of the cookies is like caramel.

Recipe makes about 30-40 very thin cookies, depending on size of Florentines and how much your kids taste the batter.

For Cookies:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons good quality honey; I use my friend Joel’s when possible!
4 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For decorative topping:
2 tablespoonsdried cherries, chopped in a mini food prep,
2 tablespoons shelled salted pistachios, chopped in a mini food prep,
½ cup good quality white chocolate

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, sugar, and honey until butter is completely melted. Stir in flour until well mixed. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Dough will be very wet.

Drop evenly sized and spaced half-teaspoonfuls (don’t be generous or you’ll get a mono-cookie!) of mixture onto flat cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 2-3 inches between.

Bake about 5-6 minutes on a center rack in oven, until bubbly and a light but even caramel brown.  When cool, gently slide cookies from their spots before removing to a rack.

Melt white chocolate (you may add a tiny bit of shortening for easier decorating) over simmering water or in microwave. Drizzle or pipe melted chocolate onto cookies.

Quickly add pinches of green chopped pistachios and finely chopped red cherry on top of drizzled chocolate and let set.

Recipe is easily doubled but we like to make small batches multiple times

Variation: these cookies are also delicious plain, or drizzled with dark chocolate.

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